Spazcon isn’t any more fun than real office work
I tried really, really hard to like Spazcon. Really, I did. You see, not too long ago, I used to be a code monkey. It made me think that Barry’s caffeine-swigging habits and career-climbing ways would be something my simian heart could relate to. Coupled with its adorable 8-bit visuals and quirky approach, I was certain that Spazcon would be a sure-fire win. Of course, things rarely work out the way you want them to.
To TouchTilt Games’ credit, however, the premise behind Spazcon is actually pretty clever; it’s an apt metaphor for the corporate rat race. Players will take on the role of Barry, a blue-collared pencil-pusher with grand aspirations. Like everyone else, he wants to make it to the top. All the way to the top, in fact. Barry wants to be the President of Spazcon Inc. Naturally, such endeavors are never easy; a relentless ascent in a company cannot be achieved without copious amounts of coffee.
All in all, there are roughly forty levels to play in Spazcon; it’s a decent amount of gameplay for its price. In each stage, you’ll provide assistance to Barry by drawing lines across the touch screen to enable him to ricochet towards the next mug of coffee. The whole procedure is actually pretty cute, to be honest; I especially like the way Barry flaps his arms frantically as he careens down to earth. Sadly, that’s also the extent of my interest in the matter. The physics in Spazcon are, to put it mildly, not the best. Barry seems fully capable of bouncing on his own volition, even if he’s set on a perfectly horizontal surface. He will occasionally just -vibrate- in place if you plant your lines wrongly, refusing to budge till you’ve somehow re-angled the lines perfectly.
More than anything, however, the physics just felt inherently wrong. I suppose it might be odd to expect realism in a game where you’re handling a bouncing, flailing data entry clerk as he flies from one end of the room to another, but still, there are expectations.
Additionally, the first ten levels felt far too easy for my liking. There were no physical hazards to kill me, the cups were all rather easy to get to, and everything pretty much looked the same. The most interesting things I saw in the first world were shelves that broke whenever Barry landed on them. Retrospectively, however, that really is only to be expected – you seldom get all too much creativity in an office environment after all.
As an idea, Spazcon works, but the developers most definitely could have taken it further with their execution. Spazcon isn’t bad as much as it is not good enough in comparison to the countless other titles out there. Those with greater patience might find it rewarding towards the end, but the blood-thirsty like me will find it disappointing that Barry won’t splatter when dropped from great heights.